Judge Stands Firm: Trump-Carroll Defamation Verdict Stands, New Trial Motion Denied

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The federal judge who presided over the E. Jean Carroll case of defamation against Donald Trump upheld the verdict in the case and the damages awarded. The judge also denied a request for a new court trial.

Alina Habba, Trump’s attorney, said: “We categorically oppose Judge Kaplan’s decision.” It ignores long-standing Constitutional principles and is an example of lawfare that is raging in this country. We are confident this decision will be reversed by the Second Circuit.”

Judge Lewis Kaplan who has been in the middle of the case from the beginning wrote that “Mr. Trump’s argument is completely without merit, both as a legal matter and as a factual matter.” His 18-page ruling was published on Thursday.

Trump asked for a new trial in March, listing grievances regarding the trial and pre-trial decisions. This included the exclusion of evidence relating to Trump’s “state” of mind when he defamed Carroll.

Carroll, a longtime advice columnist and New York Magazine reporter in 2019, wrote an article accusing Trump of sexually abusing her in a department store dressing room during the mid-1990s.

Trump, the president at the time the article was published, denied all allegations. He called Carroll a ‘whack job’ and claimed he never met her.

In his March filing, he claimed that the jury could not have reasonably concluded Carroll had suffered damages because his comments were made five hours after the article was published. Trump’s lawyers pointed out that Carroll only received a small amount of negative feedback during this “five-hour period.” Carroll’s lawyers said that after Trump intervened, she received a constant stream of insults and threats.

Trump said the jury’s verdict was based on “confusion, speculation or bias” as opposed to “the evidence presented at trial.”

Kaplan wrote that the massive amount of damages awarded to Carroll also “passes constitutional scrutiny.” His decision will likely be appealed.